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Mitch McConnell, John Boehner
Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, turning his back on Speaker John Boehner. (Kevin Lamarque/Reuters)
On Wednesday, the White House warned Republicans about the consequences of attempting to break the budget deal agreed to in last year's Budget Control Act. Those consequences would be a government shutdown, the White House said. The message was primarily for the House, which is working even now on a budget that reneges on the deal.

Interestingly, the White House got some back up on that from none other than the Republican leader in the Senate.

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) sided with the White House on Thursday when he voted to advance next year's budget bills based on last August’s debt-ceiling deal.

His vote in the Senate Appropriations Committee puts the GOP leader on the opposite side of the issue from House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) and his conference. [...]

McConnell was the key deal-maker in avoiding a debt-ceiling crisis last summer. He will likely be just a central as the House and Senate try to reconcile differing spending bills this fall.

This isn't the first time McConnell has directly undercut Boehner. In December, frustrated with brinksmanship over the payroll tax cut extension, McConnell sided with Democrats at a critical juncture, smacking Boehner down and leaving him at the mercy of his insane caucus. He's also put the kibosh on having Senate Republicans pursue the House Republicans' most cherished goal, Affordable Care Act repeal.

McConnell's a smart enough politician to know how much the crazy in the House, particularly repeated manufactured government shutdown and hostage-taking crises, is damaging the Republican brand with potential voters. He's not going to give Boehner any cover, or apparently, any help on the next one.

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